Tradies National Health Month

60% of tradies complain of aches and pains, are you one of them?

August is Tradies National Health Month!

An initiative started by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), Tradies National Health Month “shines light on the importance of tradies health.”

With 60% of tradies complaining of aches and pains as a result of their job, health is something that we MUST prioritise.

A survey performed by the APA shows that two-thirds of tradies agreed they’d be more inclined to stretch or warm-up before starting work if their employer prioritised it.

Not only does this show that your staff WANT to be physically healthy, but you as a trade business owner, have a duty of care for your staff to encourage these practices.

Yours and your staff’s bodies are your primary source of income, so it’s your responsibility to teach your tradies how to look after themselves, and ensure that safe working practices are implemented and enforced within your business.

Andy spoke with Matt Geister, co-owner of MGS Physiotherapy, who’s been treating Andy for over 30 years, to get some professional advice on how tradies can avoid injuries and keep themselves in excellent working condition.

Matt’s FOUR tips for avoiding injury:

#1 Prepare your body.

Preparation is critical; Increasing your body’s flexibility, core strength, and stability with regular exercise. Stabilising your core helps your body handle the loads required within your general workday.

Matt recommends, “anywhere a trained professional is guiding you is the best option if you can partake in it regularly”.

#2 Be body aware.

When you feel a little ‘niggle’ or some early-stage symptoms of impending injury, don’t ignore it; listen to your body and address its needs!

Please seek professional advice, start stretching, icing or resting to look after a potential injury when it first starts to bother you before it becomes a full-blown injury!

#3 Being aware of your limitations.

Many tradespeople are guilty of doing tasks the ‘quick and fast way’, which is not necessarily the right way.

Tradies injure themselves because they “just wanted to get it done quickly, were under other time pressures, or their apprentice was too far away.” They sometimes don’t think about the potential repercussions of their actions until it is too late.

#4 Stretch it out.

Building muscle and core strength is excellent, but you still leave yourself at a higher risk of injury if your muscles are tight. Matt’s recommendation is to action your routine a minimum of 3 – 4 times a week.

Tradies’ work is so varied that they need to be the MOST body-conscious and be stretching consistently to minimise their risk of injury.

For some easy stretching routines you can implement with your staff before the workday begins, head to APA’s website and check out their videos.

Getting yourself into good, safe working habits whilst you are young is the best way to ensure you can have a long career and keep yourself safe from serious injury. So follow these steps to ensure you, and your tradies, stay work ready!